Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Guadalhorce and El Faro, Malaga Province.

Birding down on the Malaga coast.

We headed down to Malaga and I dropped Jayne off at the Larios centre and continued on the short distance to the beach at Guadalhorce where I spent a while scanning the sea and the river picking up Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean  (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), 3x Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and just as I started to walk back in land slightly a single Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) flew over me and carried on along the beach. Down in the bushes to the side of the track I picked up a couple of Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sardinian  (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a single Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and on the nearby buildings Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
On the river there was very smart Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and in the tamarisks there were several Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). As I walked down to the bridge I added Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi). 
Once I was on the reserve proper I made my way to the main hide over looking Laguna Grande but things were quiet, I did however see a single pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus). My next stop was at the Long Pool, I soon located White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) along with Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) which I only heard a couple of times.
I continued on around the reserve as far as the pool near the sea watch hide, on the way I picked up a few more new species for the day including 5 Greater Flaming's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and on the furthest part of the last pool there were 4 Pied Oystercatchers. On my way out of the reserve I again heard Penduline Tits but this time I managed to get brief views of 2 birds as they flew in to the reeds on the far side of the river.
I went back in to the city where I met Jayne and we had a very nice menu del dia in the shopping centre and the headed along the coast a little further to Fuengirola where again Jayne did some shopping and I went to El Faro to sea what was at sea from the roadside hide. I was there for around two hours and during this time I saw Black-headed, Mediterranean, Lesser Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) adults, immatures and Juvenile birds, a single Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) and 5+ Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a flight of 7 Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), a dozen or so Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), a couple of Sanderlings (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and both Ringed and Kentish Plovers. A Kingfisher came along the coast and landed on some rocks in front of the hide and then flew out to sea and disappeared off towards Morocco. I next went back and met Jayne again and we did a bit more shopping before heading home.

Photographs from the top: 2x White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Sanderlings (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).

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